This is audio and outline from the July 25, 2021 sermon, “A Useful LAMP”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 4:21-25
When Jesus addressed the multitude in what we call the Sermon on the Mount, He says, “You are the light of the world!” As those called by Jesus to be the light of the world, it is important that we live with a useful:
- Life. Mark 4:22, John 10:10
- A useful lamp begins with a recognition of the value of life — your own life and the life of every person you will ever meet. Your life is useful not because of how well you measure up to the worlds expectations, but because you were created in the image of God to do the good works He created in advance for you to do. Jesus came to set each one of us free so that we could live life, and live it abundantly. Our lamp is useful when we treat everyone we encounter with the respect that is due simply because God says their life is useful.
- Attitude. Mark 4:23, Philippians 2:5
- Having ears to hear is much more than simply having physical ears that can hear. In fact, many people have ears which could hear but their attitude is such that nothing makes it in. We have a useful attitude when we open our ears and show by our doing that we understand Jesus has called us to serve others. Our attitude ought to transform our hearing as we grow in our understanding of all that is ours through our relationship with Jesus. Our lamp is useful when the people around us experience a useful attitude from us as we serve them.
- Measure. Mark 4:24-25, 2 Corinthians 10:12 & 18
- A useful measure is one that evaluates our own life according to the standard of God’s Word and the example of Jesus. Measuring ourselves against one another only serves to feed our pride and arrogance in a way that rarely results in positive change. The standard that ought to be at the front of our mind when it comes to measuring our self, or anyone else, is a desire to hear the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Our lamp is useful when we measure by God’s standards and not by the standards of the world..
- Place. Mark 4:21, Matthew 5:16
- They say there are three keys to real estate . . . location, location, and location! The same could be said for living as a useful lamp, location is key. But in this case, it is not so much about a particular location as it is about being the light of Jesus in whatever location you happen to be at. A useful lamp is not one that is hidden under a basket, rather it is one that is set out in the open so all can see the good works of God in you, through you, and by you in order to glorify your Father in heaven.
How useful is your LAMP in helping people see Jesus?